thatssoproblematic says: In reference to the Sid Bedingfield quote, isn't it possible that the backlash against CNN's coverage of the George Zimmerman case is in and of itself racially motivated? We're talking about a station that covered Jodi Arias and Casey Anthony just as much, but it's only now that they're catching flack for covering trials? Of course, CNN's coverage has been very poor, but I can't help but feel as if the largely white mainstream journalism community doesn't see why the GZ case warrants coverage.
» SFB says: I strongly disagree with race being the root cause of the backlash in this case. For one thing, the thing that got them talking was Egypt: Sid Bedingfield’s comments were in direct response to Jay Rosen, a NYU professor and very prominent critic of CNN, saying that he had given up on the network entirely after spending a long period of time criticizing the network for numerous reasons. The Zimmerman thing is only the latest example of a long line in Rosen’s case. And while Bedingfield’s quote criticized the tabloid treatment of a case rooted in a racial issue, Rosen’s criticism didn’t touch this at all—in fact, his point was rooted in the fact a pretty major story, the Egyptian coup, was getting downplayed in the corner while the Zimmerman coverage continued. (The fact that CNN has a sister network it could throw the Zimmerman coverage to, HLN, is also a factor here.)
I think the Trayvon case is an important one and deserved the surfacing it received, but beating people over the head with the story, like CNN is, does nothing but damage the value of the conversation we have about it. It turns a case about real issues into another Casey Anthony case, a case a lot of people I know actively ignored because of media oversaturation.
It forces people with skin in the game and real things to add to the conversation to tune out. And it does a disservice to all the things that need to be said about the case. That was Bedingfield’s point—that CNN isn’t giving a sensitive story the care it deserves by treating it like Jodi Arias 2.0. And to me, that’s a significantly more important criticism to be made here—one, by the way, that courtrooms could solve in large part by getting rid of the cameras. — Ernie @ SFB